Have you ever heard a running talk about ‘hitting the wall’ or ‘bonking’ (no not boinking).
Hitting the wall and bonking refer to when a runner,
after a couple of hours expends all their easily accessible reserve energy.
Suddenly the same effort they were using 5 minutes ago becomes extremely difficult to maintain.
A lot of people have now adapted this terminology as a part of their exercise experience.
The problem with this is that many people still have easily accessible energy.
It wasn’t that there body has lost it.
It’s that the fuel source they recently consumed is influencing their blood sugar levels.
Most people will consume light grains or fruits before their extended activity.
These cause a spike in your blood sugar levels.
And what goes up must come down, crashes in fact.
So what about fat?
We are learning more and more about how certain fats are essential to health.
Medium Chain Tryglycerides (MCTs) to be specific not only can help in your weight loss efforts,
they can also improve your athletic performance.
These are fats with an unusual chemical structure that allows the body to digest them easily.
Most fats are broken down in the intestine to be transported in the blood.
MCTs are taken to the liver, where they are used directly for energy.
In this sense, they are processed very similarly to carbohydrates.
Athletes often sip carbohydrate loaded drinks during exercise.
Like other fats, MCTs provide more energy per gram than carbohydrates,
without negatively influencing your blood sugar levels.
But unlike normal fats, this energy can be released rapidly.
Studies investigating fat as a fuel for exercise have found that increasing free fatty acids
during exercise tends to spare muscle glycogen,
which in turn can enhance the capacity for endurance exercise.
MCTs do not delay emptying of your stomach or absorption for energy.
If you ate regular fats prior to an event it can take a couple of hours to breakdown and utilize.
The body is able to quickly convert them into energy,
and they can actually boost your metabolic rate.
MCTs are rarely, if ever, stored by the body as fat.
Diets high in regular fats as well as refined carbohydrates
typically cause more fat storage due to higher circulating insulin levels.
In addition to the metabolism boosting effects, most people who consume MCTs
report that their energy levels are increased and that the MCTs
have both a satiating as well as an appetite suppressing effect.
This allows many people who typically always feel hungry and frequently overeat
to experience fullness and satisfaction with their food,
allowing them to eat less and lose weight.
Healthy sources of MCTs in the diet
Coconut, Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk
Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil
**Raw grass fed butter and cream are also goods choices,
but unfortunately are not available for distribution in Ontario.
Don’t use regular butter or cream prior to an athletic event due to the long breakdown period.